Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Gold Cord Peak, Million Dollar Face

Route & General Observations

Toured Gold Cord to Pinnacle Valley to Nose Hair. One skier-triggered wind slab avalanche on Gold Cord. Significant wind slabs building on leeward slopes throughout Hatcher Pass.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Hard SlabAspect South Southeast
Elevation 5000ftSlope Angle 28deg
Crown Depth 6inWidth 40ft
Vertical Run 500ft  
Avalanche Details

From the mine shaft entrance on Million Dollar Face, a ski cut was made across the upper face. There was a wind slab layer that thickened from 1-2 inches on skier's right to 6-12 inches on skier's left. Shooting cracks and small (ski-width) slabs without propagation were evident across the whole cut. As the skier approached the rock ribs on skier's left (the end of the intended ski cut) a harder wind slab broke about 20 feet above him. The crown was about 6 inches deep, 40 feet in width, and it broke when the skier was in the center. He continued his ski cut and exited the debris, which slowly ran 500 feet.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Recent and active wind loading on leeward slopes.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Temps 10-15 degrees with persistent moderate wind from the East.

Snow surface

Continuous snow transport from wind - skin tracks filled in from the day before.